NSM Faculty Members Garner University's Highest Awards

Five professors from the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics were among this year’s winners of the University of Houston’s most prestigious faculty awards for their accomplishments in teaching and research.

The 2007 awards were announced this week, and the professors competed against nominees from colleges and departments across the university.

Randolph Thummel was named a John and Rebecca Moores Professor for his work in synthetic organic chemistry. The chemistry professor’s current research on using sunlight to decompose water into hydrogen and oxygen could pave the way for the widespread use of hydrogen-based fuels. The coveted honor is given to a faculty member with an outstanding record in teaching, research and service and is a five-year renewable award that includes a $10,000 annual stipend.

Rigoberto Advincula, associate professor of chemistry, was honored with the Excellence in Research and Scholarship Award for his commitment to mentoring student researchers. Another NSM faculty member – Steven Baldelli, assistant professor of chemistry – also received the award for his pioneering work on laser techniques to study polymer surfaces. Each will receive a $5,000 stipend.

Peter Copeland’s infectious enthusiasm for geology won him the Teaching Excellence Award: Provost’s Core Award. The associate professor of geosciences was recognized for engaging students and sparking their interest in the subject matter. The award is given to outstanding teachers in core curriculum courses and includes a $5,000 prize.

Jaspal Subhlok was honored for his effective use of cutting-edge classroom tools with the Innovation in Instructional Technology award. Subhlok, associate professor of computer science, won plaudits for making highly technical lectures available online. The award includes a $5,000 prize.

For more on this story, go to http://www.uh.edu/uhtoday/2007/facultyawards/list.html.